Preventing Gender Based Violence will Help Kenya Achieve Vision 2030 (Kenya)

Posted on August 3, 2012

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Preventing Gender Based Violence
will Help Kenya Achieve Vision 2030

Customs and cultures have been used to
justify some forms of gender based violence

Coastweek  Preventing Gender Based violence is an imperative that determines achievement of Millennium Development Goals and Kenya ’s Economic blue print, Vision 2030.

This was said by Dr. Naomi Shabban while opening the International Gender Based Violence Conference at the Kenyatta University Amphitheatre.

She equated violence against women to cancer that causes great ill-health than traffic accidents and malaria put together and acknowledged that GBV is a major factor that contributes to poverty.

Dr. Nduku Kilonzo, the Director of Liverpool VCT, stated that by virtue of the social and economic cost of GBV Kenya should knowledge the issue  as a national disaster and give it the attention it deserves.

Coming fresh from a meeting that ended yesterday on GBV and HIV, Dr Nduku noted “as long as we continue to invest in the prevention of HIV and forget the prevention of GBV, then we might not win the fight against the scourge”

The Gender minister on the other hand highlighted the fact that violence against women had an intergenerational impact: boys and girls learn and reproduce largely in accordance with the gender-roles demonstrated by their parents. Indeed, men who witness and experience violence as children are more likely to use violence against their own spouses or children.

By the same token, women who witness and experience abuse as children are more likely to become victims in their adult life.

Interestingly, women who have undergone female genital mutilation are also more likely to advocate or allow FGM to happen to their female relatives.

Dr. Nduku advanced that all players in government- health, justice, finance should work together with the civil society so that the conference is not just about GBV but the development of a country as whole.

Without addressing these issues for the purposes of the survivors and victims, then development will not happen.

The three day conference whose theme is : Creating safe Spaces: A multi-disciplinary Approach to Gender Based Violence, will see 250 delegates among them academicians, researchers, services providers from 14 countries of the world, discuss among other issues how to deal with culture, masculinity, religion, politics that perpetuates violence and come up with areas of research that will inform policy and practice.

Prof. Olive Mgenda, the Vice Chancellor, Kenyatta University stated that the objective of the conference is to identify gaps and solutions to inform research, policy and practice.

She mentioned the issue of Intimate partner violence that remains an area that is a challenge to research, because of the privacy in which it occurs.

Customs and cultures have been used to justify some forms of gender based violence, and according to the Dr. Shabban a lot of societal demands are placed on the men and creates a way in which violence against men is perpetuated and also makes me to be perpetrators.

After the post election violence women and men were affected differently, yet it raised critical issues in terms of the responses that need to be given in emergency cases.

The scope in which violence against men and women has been widened to include private spaces.

Though Kenya has good legislation, implementation is critical.

Adequate resources, poverty and unemployment, a limited access to health care services, insufficient access to justice system and lack of information often denies survivors the justice that is needed.

She wound up her speech by stating that GBV has been the main enemy of development in the country and the government could not fight the vice on its own.

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